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Yesterday morning my wife was pulling into her parking spot at the elementary school where she teaches and as she was idling up to the curb with her foot lightly on the brake, the throttle instantly went to full wide open. With the engine screaming (as well as my wife, presumably)the van proceeded to jump the curb, sideswiping the car next to her, climb up a steep wet hill approximately 20 feet and ram into the water supply header for the school.
While researching on "The Center for Auto Safety" website I found that Honda has a reputation for problems regarding "Sudden Acceleration" in the past. Most notably the 86-88 Accura Legend, 84-87 Accords and 90-91 Civics which were investigated by the National Traffic Safety Administration on 5 occasions. Despite over 250 accidents, 125 injuries and 7 deaths, a recall was never ordered. When NHTSA asked Honda to recall 1990-91 Civics, Honda refused. The only problem I have found specific to the Odyssey is the 1999 model throttle sticking due to icing in cold damp weather.
I'm posting here to find out if anyone else has had a problem with their Odyssey experiencing "Sudden Acceleration" which may or may not have resulted in an accident.
Since the van has been out less than a year, there may not have been time for problems to show up on tech bulletins or recall lists yet. "But be aware, and be careful" The incident with our van had the potential for catastrophe considering that it occurred in an elementary school parking lot.
 

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Research has shown that the sudden acceleration thing is largely myth.

Fact: if she's pulling into the parking spot, her foot was on the brake. If the throttle went wide open, she immediately pressed harder on the brakes--and no engine can overcome the brakes in a situation like that.

Give it a try, folks. One foot on the brake as you're creeping, the other foot suddenly mashing down the throttle, and see what happens.
 

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Adam, thanx for responding to this. I've wanted to reply, but find that the subject causes me to go bananas, so it's hard for me not to sound nasty, and I really don't want to send that message.

It's just that this myth has gone on so long and damaged the industry so much because its politically incorrect to point out that "yes, it was frightening and life-threatening, but you made a mistake, and you're unaware of it". I don't care what happens to any manufacturer when they cause their own problems, but this is one instance where they've become the whipping boy for all kinds of crap they don't deserve.

With all due respect to people who think their cars are capable of doing such things as sudden UNCRONTOLLABLE acceleration, it's impossible.

Cars do have devices in them that change engine speeds up or down occasionally, like when the air conditioning compressor turns on or off, so it's possible to notice differences in acceleration, but they are NOT UNCONTROLLABLE.

To my knowledge, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, no one, ever, in any organization, in any make, model or style of car or engine, has EVER been able to recreate the conditions that "victims" of "unintended acceleration" report. Ever.

The most that's ever been shown, as far as I know, is that some cars have their pedals in different positions than others. Duh!

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Chuck
Click here for Ody pics, mods and fixes on FotoTime.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ckonarske:
Adam, thanx for responding to this. I've wanted to reply, but find that the subject causes me to go bananas, so it's hard for me not to sound nasty, and I really don't want to send that message.

It's just that this myth has gone on so long and damaged the industry so much because its politically incorrect to point out that "yes, it was frightening and life-threatening, but you made a mistake, and you're unaware of it". I don't care what happens to any manufacturer when they cause their own problems, but this is one instance where they've become the whipping boy for all kinds of crap they don't deserve.

With all due respect to people who think their cars are capable of doing such things as sudden UNCRONTOLLABLE acceleration, it's impossible.

Cars do have devices in them that change engine speeds up or down occasionally, like when the air conditioning compressor turns on or off, so it's possible to notice differences in acceleration, but they are NOT UNCONTROLLABLE.

To my knowledge, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, no one, ever, in any organization, in any make, model or style of car or engine, has EVER been able to recreate the conditions that "victims" of "unintended acceleration" report. Ever.

The most that's ever been shown, as far as I know, is that some cars have their pedals in different positions than others. Duh!

</font>
 

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adam1991 makes the strongest point about this subject (I've responded before about this... and sounded nasty). The bottom line is this: it is NOT possible for the vehicle to accelerate forward if the driver has their foot on the brake pedal (hard). In a panic situation, believe me, the driver is going to be STOMPING on that brake pedal. At the most, the car may creep as it fights against itself. That is assuming the car is able to accelerate on its own... something I do not believe is possible.

I've personally been involved with two stuck accelerators. One was a 70's Dodge van that had the accelerator stick to the floor. The pedal wedged under some flooring material (this was an old, beat up junker). This was, of course, after I put it there in the first place! It was a large parking lot... seconds later after alot of smoke and noise I shut the ignition off. The other time was an 80's Pontiac J2000 which, after 100,000 miles, decided that once you put the cruise on it was to stay on. THAT was dangerous. The car never accelerated on its own, it just wanted to stay at the speed you set the cruise at. Simply turning off the cruise stopped the acceleration.

Could the cruise be to blame? I do not have any technical knowledge of Honda's system, but I would assume it is not possible.

[This message has been edited by cmt4 (edited 10-18-2001).]
 

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I'm not posting this from my usual computer and I don't know why this thing just posted a reply without letting me add my message first. But here is what I wanted to add... I agree that this "uncontrollable acceleration" is a misnomer. Working brakes will arrest turning wheels--period. But in my own experience in my Honda Civic I had a surprising "revving up" event. The floor mat had become misplaced and the forward right edge of it caught the accelerator and caused it to almost redline. Not in gear--no issue. It did take me quite by surprise though. A few years later I received notice that the floor mats for that model Civic ('93) and a newer Civic I own were the subject of a product recall. This would lead me to believe that Honda is well aware of this particular problem and I would really doubt that they would reproduce a similar one.
But, it would not surprise me if aftermarket floormats, especially the heavy rubber variety, could reproduce such a startling event.
 

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Over the weekend, I entered a parking lot of a garden center just after such an incident. After I parked, I noticed that a Lexus RX300 had driven over the parking block, over some plants, and sideswiped a big old horse-drawn wagon. The lady was standing outside looking quite distressed. I asked her what happened and if I could help. She said her vehicle just "skidded" into the wagon. Funny thing is that she was parked in the same place I was just pulling into. She was in the process of pulling out when she said the car just "skidded". So, I backed my Odyssey out to assess the situation. I saw acceleration marks starting from the parking spot, going over the parking curb, and finally into the wagon. Oh, and it was raining. I think one of two scenarios happened.

1. She confused the brake and accelerator. When her car lurched forward, she thought she was still on the brake and therefore, pressed harder causing the excessive acceleration.

2. She thought she was in Reverse but actually in Drive. Expecting to go backwards, she went forward and was startled causing her to hit the accelerator.

It was evident that while talking to this lady she had very little driving experience and/or training. I mean she was totally clueless as to what happened. She didn't have enough momentum in the parking lot to cause a 20 ft. "skid", so this was an obvious acceleration issue. As been said before, no vehicle can over power it's brakes. Even my old 383 Chrysler with drum brakes all around couldn't do it - and at 16 years old I really tried.

No offense to hdw671's wife, but just about anyone can get confused if they are not paying attention. Heck, I backed into my trash can the other day and put a nice ding in the tailgate of my Odyssey. Needless to say, I was really hacked the rest of the day. I also felt really stupid because I pride myself in being in tune with vehicle dynamics while I am driving, almost like a sixth sense. My point - anyone can screw up if they are not paying attention.
 

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There's no doubt that different models have had problems of shift levers that didn't "lock" into park as well as they should have and allowed the vehicle's trans to suddenly be in an unintended gear. Add that to cruise controls and brake systems failing, floor mats causing gas pedals to stick, stiff throttle linkages and all sorts of possible failures. Nobody denies that automotive systems fail. Having said that, none of them can cause what the "victims" report. It's still impossible. Witness the post above and the twenty foot acceleration marks.

Carln wrote: "I also felt really stupid because I pride myself in being in tune with vehicle dynamics while I am driving, almost like a sixth sense. My point - anyone can screw up if they are not paying attention." This is what can happen to any of us. When you're convinced you're hitting the brake and stomping on it, no amount of rational argument will change your mind, but that still doesn't mean you were actually pushing on the brake! There were cases during the Audi investigations where owners reported pushing on the brake, but investigators found the accelerator pedal embedded in the carpeting from being pushed so hard.

I guess if pilots with all of their training can become confused and fly their planes straight into the ground when they are convinced they're trying to gain altitude, the phenomenon can happen to any of us. That still doesn't mean the cars we drive are causing it.



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Chuck
Click here for Ody pics, mods and fixes on FotoTime.
 

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<center><font color=purple>One wonders if FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) posts
sometimes come from competitors!</center></font>


When the first (and only time) someone posts a pointed and disparaging remark, I take that remark with a huge
grain of salt.

I intend no disrespect if the poster is sincere, but he needs to realize that his negative, one-time post will receive more scrutiny than a post from someone who has established credibility.

The moniker <a href="http://groups.google.com/groups?q=hdw671&btnG=Google+Search">"Hdw671"</a> does not show up at all in a Google.com search of news groups. That absence of posts further reduces credibility.

My apologies if this does not apply in this situation, but this seemed like a good opportunity to raise the issue of competitive FUD.

Regards,

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Maugham

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude that we'll keep!
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces

[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 10-18-2001).]
 

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I'm am really happy to see so many in this forum share my opinion on this often heated issue.

I still remember when 60 minutes ran that expo on this "phenomenon" which almost put Audi out of business. Remember the technician hooking up something like 60psi to one of the hydraulic lines in an Audi "simulating" the "unintended acceleration" event? I remember how much panic that caused... And then later on, 60 minutes recanted, but alas the damage was done. I was really glad to see Audi make a comeback, but it really was an irresponsible thing for CBS to air that.

Anyhow, I just wanted to add one more comment: studies have shown a direct correlation between "unintended acceleration" events and the location of gas and brake pedals of a vehicle. When gas and brake pedals are close together, and the gas pedal tends to be skewed more to the left (Audi pedals were set up more for the heel-toe driver, like this) you got higher rates of this event. Bingo. Other cars with unusally high rates all have similar pedal setups. Another great example is the Grand Cherokee, which must have the gas WAY left of where most cars have it due to the tranny hump in the center of the vehicle. People really should be aware of these issues when selecting a vehicle...

Anyhow, as harsh as it sounds, there has never been a substantiated case of unintended acceleration where it was found that mechanical failures cause this to happen. (yes, multiple failures are needed - accelerator stuck AND brakes fail simultaneously) Driver error has always been the ruling cause.

-SJ

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ockham's disposable:
I'm not posting this from my usual computer and I don't know why this thing just posted a reply without letting me add my message first.</font>
Could it have been a <s>stuck</s> <s>accelerator</s> stuck enter key?


Did you try editing the post afterwards, that would let you mend the post. I have to edit posts all the time because of the number of mistakes my keyboard makes
.

Regards,

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Maugham

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude that we'll keep!
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
 

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I believe this issue originated in a 1986 "Sixty Minutes" story. It concerned the Audi 5000 and, subsequently, just about every manufacturer has been subjected to similar allegations. The fact that the original poster mentioned ONLY Honda and Acura is rather telling, IMHO.

[This message has been edited by Homer (edited 10-18-2001).]
 

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I agree with you guys on this one. These apparently anonimous one time posters due more damage as they relay annecdotal evidence as fact.
Online boards can sometimes be highly innaccurate forms of information. For example generally only owners with problems will tend to post and this gives a potential buyer a skewed sense of a vehicles reliability.

I have to say that this Forum seems to be the most balanced I have seen and it's members genuinly like to help others.

I personnally bought my 2001 LX because I liked it's sudden acceleration.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Canodyssey:
I agree with you guys on this one. These apparently anonimous one time posters due more damage as they relay annecdotal evidence as fact.
Online boards can sometimes be highly innaccurate forms of information. For example generally only owners with problems will tend to post and this gives a potential buyer a skewed sense of a vehicles reliability.

I have to say that this Forum seems to be the most balanced I have seen and it's members genuinly like to help others.

I personnally bought my 2001 LX because I liked it's sudden acceleration.
</font>
LOL!



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Chuck
Click here for Ody pics, mods and fixes on FotoTime.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ockham's disposable:
</font>
Very clever user name!!!
But isn't it "Occam," not "Ockham"?
 

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Yeah, our friend hdw671 registers on this site, but has no e-mail address, and then posts this. Can you say Chrysler salesman?
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Steve Pert:
Very clever user name!!! But isn't it "Occam," not "Ockham"?</font>
<font color=brown><center><a href="http://skepdic.com/occam.html">Occam's Razor 1</a> </font> or <font color=brown><a href="http://www.2think.org/occams_razor.shtml">Occam's Razor 2</a> </center></font><center>So, either Occam or Ockham is correct.</center>

[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 10-18-2001).]
 

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Wow. I've avoided this thread until just now. I assumed it was just a joke, in fact. Adam nailed it right from the beginning, of course.

Here's my little throttle story, for what it's worth:

I had a "free safety check" performed at the dealer on my 1966 Volvo many, many years ago. After they made sure everything was totally safe, they sent me on my way. I idled up to the parking lot exit, and punched it to get into traffic. Well, when I released the gas pedal, the engine kept revving higher. It took me all of 1 second to push the clutch in, turn the key off and pull over. Scared the hell out of me for sure, but was not an insurmountable problem. Turns out that the highly-trained technicians left both of the carburetor dashpot dampers unscrewed (dual SU carbs). As the slides opened, the dampers were pushed out of their holes, follwed by the damping oil. The slides then stuck wide open. Safety first over there at Volvo. I was never even offered an appology. They wouldn't even replace the oil in my dampers without a fight! But I live to tell the tale.

An overreving automatic that can't be stopped with judicious use of the brake is a joke. I can see complaints that the car moved forward a foot or two, but these stories of possesed cars climbing over hill and dale are insane.

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-= Darell =-
2002 Ody EXL-Nav (TW) ordered, and now maybe coming on November 2!
I haven't had a date in months (well, years actually, but that's a different story)
2001 Civic EX
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Adam, thanx for responding to this. I've wanted to reply, but find that the subject causes me to go bananas, so it's hard for me not to sound nasty, and I really don't want to send that message.

It's just that this myth has gone on so long and damaged the industry so much because its politically incorrect to point out that "yes, it was frightening and life-threatening, but you made a mistake, and you're unaware of it". I don't care what happens to any manufacturer when they cause their own problems, but this is one instance where they've become the whipping boy for all kinds of crap they don't deserve.

With all due respect to people who think their cars are capable of doing such things as sudden UNCRONTOLLABLE acceleration, it's impossible.

Cars do have devices in them that change engine speeds up or down occasionally, like when the air conditioning compressor turns on or off, so it's possible to notice differences in acceleration, but they are NOT UNCONTROLLABLE.

To my knowledge, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, no one, ever, in any organization, in any make, model or style of car or engine, has EVER been able to recreate the conditions that "victims" of "unintended acceleration" report. Ever.

The most that's ever been shown, as far as I know, is that some cars have their pedals in different positions than others. Duh!
</font>
What Chuck said was so good I felt it important to repeat.

Thanks, Chuck. You're spot on, of course. Yes, people make mistakes. Honest truth? I did, myself, during driver training ages and ages ago. If it weren't for the instructor MASHING on the brakes, I would have killed an old lady who was crossing the street.

What the hell. I was 16 years old and in all honesty didn't know what had happened until long after it was over. I honestly though I was hitting the brakes. Long minutes afterward, I analyzed what had happened and what I felt with my feet and realized I was mashing the gas as hard as possible.

S*%t happens.
 

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shinjohn:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I still remember when 60 minutes ran that expo on this "phenomenon" which almost put Audi out of business.</font>
It was that day that I stopped watching 60 minutes (and network news by and large). I've never looked back. There is no better proof that major network "news" is cooked up entertainment aimed at paying the bills and management's huge salary.
 
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